While moving into a new place in a new community can be exciting (especially if Bellhops does the heavy lifting), getting connected can be a bit of challenge. Your new home might be amazing and you might love your new job or school, but not having family around can be tough, and finding new friends and activities can be even tougher. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of post-move community involvement ideas.
Try some of these:
- Introduce yourself online. The Nextdoor phone app/website can help you find an online network in your neighborhood—or let you start one if there isn’t one. You can also search Facebook for groups dedicated to your neighborhood, town, or city.
- Meet your new neighbors. You don’t need to knock on every door, but look for opportunities to meet the people who live around you—after all, community involvement starts with those closest to you. Get to know your new coworkers or classmates. Attend a neighborhood meeting. Introduce yourself when folks walk past your door. Offer to help mow an older neighbor’s lawn or shovel someone’s driveway. Be willing to keep an eye on someone’s place if they go out of town. Chances are, if you look out for them, they’ll return the favor. And isn’t that what community is all about?
- Explore your new neighborhood. As you wander around your new neighborhood looking for shops, restaurants, parks, and other places to go, also be on the lookout for opportunities to meet people. Strike up a conversation with a fellow walker at the park or someone next to you in line at the store. Introduce yourself to the owners and employees of the shops and restaurants you frequent. You never know who you’ll meet or what you can learn about your new neighborhood and the people in it.
- Attend local events. Once you’re settled in your new place, treat yourself to a nice day or night out. Check local event calendars for concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events that may be of interest to you. Ask if anybody at work wants to go. Who knows? You might find some people with similar interests who you can hang out with at the next event. Actually being present in your neighborhood is the easiest tip on the community involvement how-to list.
- Support your local sports teams. Not only do local sports teams give you the opportunity to get out and enjoy local events, but they also give you an opportunity to meet and bond with a group who shares the same passion for a team and/or sport.
- Organize an event. While attending an event is a great way to get to know your new community and neighbors, so is creating one. Your event doesn’t have to be huge. Organize a car wash to help raise money for a local organization. Partner with friends or coworkers to collect and distribute items for needy folks. You can even help put together a neighborhood block party or potluck.
- Join local classes or groups. It’s simple: The more you meet with a group of people, the more you’re going to get to know them. No matter where you live, there are likely countless places to plug in. Look for indoor classes, outdoor classes, houses of worship, and other places where you can meet with other like-minded folks.
- Offer your services or expertise. Another way to get plugged into your new community is to make your services or expertise available to those who need it. Whether you have experience walking dogs, fixing cars, or doing people’s taxes, chances are there are people who can benefit from—and are willing to pay for—your help.
- Volunteer. Giving your time and effort to a cause is a great way to feel closer to your community. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are millions of nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. Search local social media groups or visit the Volunteer Match site for opportunities in your area. From volunteering at your local animal shelter to tutoring kids after school to spending time with the elderly, there are countless tips on how to get involved in your community.
It’s human nature to want to be connected. The most surprising thing about your upcoming community involvement endeavors might be that your new neighbors have been waiting for someone like you to come along and help them get plugged in.
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